HealthDay News — Medical students frequently do not achieve mastery of the skills necessary for accurate measurement of blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online April 28 in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

Michael K. Rakotz, MD, from the American Medical Association in Chicago, and colleagues assessed 159 medical students from medical schools in 37 states on an 11-element skillset on BP measurement. The students were attending the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates Meeting in June 2015.

The researchers found that only one of the students showed proficiency in all 11 skills. There was a mean of 4.1 elements that were properly performed.

“The findings suggest that changes in medical school curriculum emphasizing BP measurement are needed for medical students to become, and remain, proficient in BP measurement,” the authors wrote. “Measuring BP correctly should be taught and reinforced throughout medical school, residency, and the entire career of clinicians.”

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One author disclosed financial ties to Cordex.

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Rakotz MK, Townsend RR, Yang J, et al. Medical students and measuring blood pressure: results from the American Medical Association Blood Pressure Check Challenge [published online April 28, 2017]. JCH. doi:10.1111/jch.13018